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Upper & Upper Middle-Class Parents - Essential Knowledge? - Page 8

post #141 of 345

And here I was, all ready to post about a great skill that makes me feel at home at white-tie events at Imperial Palaces (not of the Las Vegas kind)... and realized I don't earn 100K to qualify to contribute! oh well....

post #142 of 345

I read the first page and a selection since and laughed and laughed.  I have to admit that i need a fairly good (but possible) exchange rate to "qualify" for this thread, but hey, they archive these so there's no reason not to think on a given day i might be ok here.

 

Teach them Good Manners.  They are free, which is surprising when you think of how many people of AL income brackets seem to lack them so sorely.

 

And please don't force anyone to learn about wine unless they are passionately interested in it.  If they know more than the sommelier does then the restaurant probably isn't going to be worth the mortgage they charge for dinner anyway.

post #143 of 345
Quote:
Originally Posted by *bejeweled* View Post

So, once your son learns how to "schmooze", will your feelings be hurt if he leaves you behind? After all, you will be of a lesser class.


The only response this warrants is <rolling eyes>.

post #144 of 345
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar View Post

A lot of people seem to be taking this really personally... do you not think that there is a certain body of cultural knowledge that upper and upper-middle class people generally learn while people in other classes often don't? Really, each social class has its own sphere of cultural knowledge, but if you're interested in becoming upper-middle class then it helps to know that cultural currency. Some of it is as simple as knowing how to navigate going to college or grad school, or what to wear to an interview, or how and when to write a thank you letter. Part of it is feeling comfortable at cocktail or dinner parties, and most people feel more comfortable when they know something about the topics being discussed and understand some of the social graces and manners expected (Which fork do you use? What is the 4:20 position? Where should you leave your napkin when you're finished?). No one will hunt you down if you make a faux pas, but it still feels uncomfortable, and I'm not seeing why it's wrong to acknowledge that.

I guess what's uncomfortable about 'acknowledging that' is the insinuation that the less well-off don't need to know these things. Don't poor kids also need to know how to navigate going to college (though they'll struggle more to get there & pay for it), ace an interview, and write a thank you letter? Those seem like pretty universal skills. Shouldn't they know how to handle a fancy dinner party, perhaps moreso because they may have less exposure & practice with it? Are the middle-class & poor not expected to have manners and carry on an intelligent conversation?
post #145 of 345
I was lower middle class growing up, and then I married my husband and instantly became wealthy. I never felt out of place or like I hadn't learned something I needed to know. I just don't think there's as much difference between upper and upper-middle classes and other classes in the US as some in this thread seem to think. If people are polite and respectful, they'll be fine.
post #146 of 345

you have to admit this thread has gotten crazy. 

post #147 of 345
Quote:
Originally Posted by Imakcerka View Post

you have to admit this thread has gotten crazy. 


It's fun, though.  I missed threads like this on MDC.
 

 

post #148 of 345

There is certainly a lot of crazy talk here.

 

We all need to know how to be gracious, be polite, write thank you letters, eat with polite table manners, converse on topics of which we have knowledge, conduct ourselves well during an interview, etc. 

 

I think no parent needs to worry about teaching their children about wine, nor do they need to teach their children every language they might ever conceivably see on a menu.

 

Wild.

post #149 of 345
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar View Post

A lot of people seem to be taking this really personally... do you not think that there is a certain body of cultural knowledge that upper and upper-middle class people generally learn while people in other classes often don't? Really, each social class has its own sphere of cultural knowledge, but if you're interested in becoming upper-middle class then it helps to know that cultural currency. Some of it is as simple as knowing how to navigate going to college or grad school, or what to wear to an interview, or how and when to write a thank you letter. Part of it is feeling comfortable at cocktail or dinner parties, and most people feel more comfortable when they know something about the topics being discussed and understand some of the social graces and manners expected (Which fork do you use? What is the 4:20 position? Where should you leave your napkin when you're finished?). No one will hunt you down if you make a faux pas, but it still feels uncomfortable, and I'm not seeing why it's wrong to acknowledge that. Making social connections is important for many careers, whether we like to think it is or not.


I don't think these things are specific to being upper class with the possible exception of the "4:20 position," which I couldn't even find on a cursory Google search BTW.  Most of them are just good life skills that pretty much anyone regardless of class or income would benefit from knowing. 

 

And based on my own experience, I certainly don't believe they're things the upper class "generally learn" while the other classes "often don't."  Maybe a hundred years ago this might have been true, but class is more fluid now leading to more variety, and there's a large middle class with access to more.  I'm middle class and grew up middle class, and I managed to pick up everything listed other than the aforementioned 4:20 position.  I don't think I'm unique in that respect.    

 

ETA - I just found out what the 4:20 position is. I actually did know that rule just didn't know it was called that. I'm so middle class. orngbiggrin.gif

 

ETA #2 -  It's how you place your utensils diagonally across the plate at the end of a meal.  


Edited by AbbyGrant - 2/21/12 at 7:22am
post #150 of 345

I just googled the 4:20 position too.  I've always done that (I suppose my parents taught me), but I never knew there was a term for it.

post #151 of 345
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

 

Because of my DH's job, he deals with people who are wealthy and upper middle class. You know wanna know what is really important for him to be able to talk about????  The big mystery subject......

 

 

sports

 

Seriously. He's multi lingual in sports. He can discuss hockey with a Canadian, soccer with a Brit, and of course football with an American. He can do it all in French if required. And he takes time out of his week (sometimes while on a plane) to keep up with what is going on in the major sports in N. America and Europe. It's the important cultural information for him to have. Sometimes I find it disconcerting when he does it in front of me for a sport/country I didn't know was on his watch list. 

 

 


 

This, this, this. So true. Especially helpful for women in male-dominated professions (engineering, law.....). Someone gave me this tip when I first started my professional life and I can't tell you how helpful it's been. If you are in a new town or a different country, it's more important to scan the local sports pages before a business event than the business section. 

 

I need to read through the entire thread to comment further, this caught my eye and I had to comment. 

 

 

post #152 of 345
Quote:
Originally Posted by CatsCradle View Post


My experience is totally anecdotal but I think it is somewhat on point.  I went from West Virginia back-sticks to the NYC art world in a flash.  My survival (and the survival of my colleagues) depended greatly on the generosity and support of monied individuals.  In retrospect, it wasn't about intelligence or cultural knowledge, etc.  It was about good salesmanship.  The intelligence and cultural knowledge were already there.  We were artists, mind you.  LOL.  In order to survive, however, the most awesome artist needs the ability to sell his/her goods.  He/she needs to convince others that they absolutely need what you are offering.  You need to convince others that your work is important and valid...that it benefits them personally and society at large.  

 

There will be times when the random prodigy comes along and the savvy sponsor will recognize the talent and underwrite it.  For most of us, though, it's all about sales.  You can talk the talk but  there is a certain level of sales (whether likable or not) that is involved in selling what some consider ideas, trends, cultural markers.  Look, I spent much of my life as a visual/theatre artist and then I became a lawyer.  Basically, in both in arenas, I sell ideas, thoughts, knowledge.  I love what I do but at the end of the day I think it's all a scam.  A scam because I don't think what I do justifies the price that people pay for what I do.  I still have a lot of old fashioned ideas about "work" means.  To me, my thoughts aren't work, but there are people out there that pay a premium for me to think.  It's so messed up.  

 

But it all boils down to sales, in my opinion.  All the good sales people I've ever met have been "jacks of all trades" and have managed to sweet talk me into something I didn't know I wanted or needed.  All the tony people of the world without sales ability are just hangers-on, groupies, etc.  They want to be there, but they have nothing to offer.

 

Sorry guys, saying all this in love and laughter and complete self-deprecation.    goodvibes.gif


Jeebus.  This is exactly why I would never want to try and make a living out of my art.

 

post #153 of 345
Quote:
Originally Posted by AbbyGrant View Post
ETA - I just found out what the 4:20 position is. I actually did know that rule just didn't know it was called that. I'm so middle class. orngbiggrin.gif

 

ETA #2 -  It's how you place your utensils diagonally across the plate at the end of a meal.  


Good Lord.  Thanks for saving me the Google.  I do meet the 'income requirement' for this thread eyesroll.gif and all that sprung to mind on this one was marijuana.

 

post #154 of 345
Quote:
Originally Posted by mambera View Post


Good Lord.  Thanks for saving me the Google.  I do meet the 'income requirement' for this thread eyesroll.gif and all that sprung to mind on this one was marijuana.

 


 

Thank you. That was also my first thought, but I didn't want to say.....lol.gif

post #155 of 345
Quote:
Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post

Thank you. That was also my first thought, but I didn't want to say.....lol.gif



Me too. shy.gif I thought perhaps it was special way the upper class held it.  orngtongue.gif

post #156 of 345

LMAO!

post #157 of 345
Quote:
Originally Posted by AbbyGrant View Post



Me too.  shy.gif  I thought perhaps it was special way the upper class held it.  


 

I remember my college roommate expounding at length about the song "Pass the Dutchie From the Left-Hand Side".

She had a long thesis about how it was about social rules and class warfare and the left wing and um, yeah, marijuana  lol.gif

post #158 of 345

Pinkies out while you toke.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AbbyGrant View Post



Me too. shy.gif I thought perhaps it was special way the upper class held it.  orngtongue.gif



 

post #159 of 345

 

Cultural capital, indeed.  biglaugh.gif

post #160 of 345

 

Quote:

I remember my college roommate expounding at length about the song "Pass the Dutchie From the Left-Hand Side".

She had a long thesis about how it was about social rules and class warfare and the left wing and um, yeah, marijuana  lol.gif

 

 

ROTFLMAO.gif

 

 

 

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